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Our fifth annual Photo Issue

We challenged readers to capture their concept of money in a single shot—and it was no surprise that the imagery had less to do with the green stuff than a lack thereof

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Money. Scrilla. Bones. Benjamins. We want it. We work for it. We save it or squander it. Sometimes, we beg for it. We fight for it in global protests. It burns holes in our pockets. It doesn't grow on trees. Snoop Dogg's got it on his mind. It can dictate us, or set us free.

For this year's Photo Issue, we challenged readers to capture their interpretation of money in a single shot. I sifted through hundreds of submissions with pleasure, intrigued by the moments you chose to frame—and subsequently, what you left outside the borders.

Considering these tough economic times, it was no surprise that the recurring theme had less to do with the green stuff than a lack thereof. From Stephanie Bassos's images of gutter punks and drifters who are "homeless by choice in order to claim their 'independence' from society's standards" to Jacob Yeung's documentation of the Occupy Chicago movement and its symbolic stand against economic inequality, your submissions prove that money—whether it puts one in a position of raw vulnerability or inspires a moment of great strength—is a force that moves us.

The following slideshow showcase the photos that we at the Reader think are, well, priceless.

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